Edmonds Military Wire weekend edition: National Guard rescues Alaska town buried by snow


By Michael Schindler

If you live in Seattle, you just experienced what some are calling the “biggest snow fall in a decade.” As a matter of fact, the recent storm caused a bit of back-n-forth between Seattle-ites and the L.A. elitists (did I just write that?). For the record, it did actually shut down the Seattle airport, but that was more the ice than the snow. So…some thought Seattle actually had it bad.

But then there is Alaska.

Alaska has endured record-breaking snow fall – some 300 inches this year. No question there is plenty of snow for igloos. One Alaskan town, Cordova, needed more than their typical snow blowers – drum roll for the National Guard.

According to USA Today, dozens of National Guard troops arrived in Cordova to help the Alaska fishing town dig out from massive snows that collapsed roofs, trapped some people in homes and triggered avalanches.

Having lived in Alaska for more than a decade, we “Alaskans” are used to snow and there is no question that Cordova is used to snow; but not like this season’s blanketing.  The Guard reported more than 18 feet of snow has fallen in the past weeks, although the National Weather Service did not immediately have a measurement.

Bad weather prevented the Guard from flying to the town, 150 miles southeast of Anchorage so more than 70 Guard members arrived in Cordova via state ferry Sunday, 8 January.  About 50 of them will help clear roofs, roads, boats.  The rest will provide other assistance.

So, my fellow Washingtonians, the next time a few inches falls here in the Puget Sound, think about your counterparts in Alaska…word has it, they didn’t cancel school or close City Hall.

Michael Schindler, Navy veteran, and president of Edmonds-based Operation Military Family, is a guest writer for several national publications, author of the book “Operation Military Family” and “The Military Wire” blog. He is also a popular keynote and workshop speaker who reaches thousands of service members and their families every year through workshops and seminars that include  “How to Battle-Ready Your Relationship” or “What Your Mother-in-Law Didn’t Tell You.”  He received the 2010 Outstanding Patriotic Service Award from the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.




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